FAQ : How To Get a Wedding Published

o the story goes like this: During my first year of business, I was contacted by a fabulous bride. Nicole found my work and decided to book online after reading my blog and discovering we went to college together (though she graduated a couple years after me). Shortly after shooting her wedding, I received amazing news that she earned the position of assistant editor at Inside Weddings Magazine. I was beyond proud of her and we sent a flurry of emails back and forth with giddy excitement. I know I say this too often, but--really--I love my brides.

A couple months later, I shot Kasey and Nick's wedding in Seattle. Nicole--being the fabulous J* Bride that she is--still followed my blog (10,000 bonus cool points for her!)--so she dropped a line and suggested I submit the wedding for publication in Inside Weddings Magazine. There were no guarantees of publication, but she felt it'd be a good fit for the winter issue. Lo and behold, when I received news the wedding was published, I was through the roof with excitement!!

Since then, I've received emails from photographers asking how they can get published. Embarrassingly, I'm the first to admit, I'm no fact, I really don't have the best of suggestions. A bit ago, I was struck with the idea I should contact Inside Wedding Magazine's Senior Editor, Marilyn Oliviera, and pass along the questions I'm commonly asked. Nervously, I emailed her...with the tonality of Oliver Twist asking for more soup. I totally didn't think she'd respond (due to her busy schedule and uber fab life), but she carved out time for blog readers and I'm incredibly thankful.

Photo Credit: Jay Lawrence Goldman

*What's the best piece of advice you can offer when submitting a wedding for publication?
When submitting to a magazine, send a lot of detail shots of the wedding. Often I'll receive dozens and dozens of beautiful images of people, and while they're lovely to look at, what I really need to see more of is the event itself. Amazing floral arrangements, unique decor, creative tabletop -- these are the things that give brides inspiration for their own weddings and end up composing most of a feature.

*What's one thing to avoid when submitting a wedding for publication?
Don't send more than one or two weddings at a time unless you already have a relationship with the editor and/or you've been specifically asked to do so. I've received as many as 20 (20!) disks at a time from a single submitter, and it's just too much time to devote to a single person. Narrow it down to your very best work on the most beautiful events, and submit those.

*What's something you wish everyone did when submitting a wedding for publication?
I wish everyone would include the following information with their submissions: the wedding date; the wedding location; and the couple's names and contact info. When and where a wedding took place are both important components of the consideration process, and once a wedding is selected, the editor will need to contact the bride and groom to get the process rolling. It may seem like basic info, but sometimes I'll get a disk with absolutely no references at all -- just a CD with a photographer's name on it -- and I have to hunt down the additional information before I can consider the wedding.

*How many images should a photographer include when submitting a wedding for publication? What's too many?
I personally prefer around 100-150 of the best images -- lots of detail shots! -- that cover everything from the bride and groom getting ready to dancing at the reception. That might be a lot for other editors, but I find that it holds up the process to have to ask for additional images to review and then wait for the photos to arrive. Anything over 250 tends to be too many -- I find myself sifting through a lot of people shots and images that all look the same. Whatever you do, do not send all of the photos for an entire wedding -- make sure you edit for fantastic shots and key parts of the event, and send the best images you have.

*How do you prefer receiving wedding submissions? Like, do you like contact sheets? A cover letter? A Q+A from the bride regarding the wedding details? What kind of CD case do you prefer? Etc.
A disk that is clearly labeled with the photographer's name, the couple's name, and the wedding date and location (Lisa Smith & Don Jones -- 12/21/08 -- Miami, FL -- Photos by Jasmine Star) is like gold to me; if it gets separated from its cover sheet, I can pick it up and know exactly what it is and where it came from immediately. Including a short cover letter is fine, and a full or partial vendor list is even better. Inside Weddings' submission policy requires that a member of our Editor's Circle make the submission, so we have a specific form that we distribute. If you aren't a member, you can contact an Editor's Circle member that also participated in the wedding for the form that allows you to submit the images on their behalf. Also, If there is a unique angle to the wedding or an interesting story re: the couple and/or how they met, by all means include it.

*Will editors feature a wedding that has been previously featured on a wedding blog? This is actually a topic that has come up a few times, and it really depends on the situation. If a short feature was published on the photographer's own blog, that isn't really a problem -- we understand that photogs want their best work to be seen. When a wedding has been picked up by multiple blogs and broadcast across the internet, however, that's a problem. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to produce and publish a single wedding feature, and we have to make difficult decisions about which events to feature because of the space limitations of a print publication. Devoting pages to an event that ends up making the blog rounds before the magazine hits newsstands is extremely frustrating and rather unfair to the other photographers whose work was in the running and had to be passed upon. Other publications may feel differently, but if you're looking to have a particular event published in print, a good rule of thumb is to do a round of print submissions and then make the weddings that were not picked up available to the web.

*What images do you wish were included in submissions, but hardly ever appear?
Again (and I can't repeat this enough), detail images. I would venture that approximately 80% of the submissions I receive require me to ask for additional detail shots. Keep in mind that Inside Weddings devotes multiple pages to each and every real wedding that we feature -- it's one of the aspects that sets us apart from other publications. There have to be enough amazing details for us to fill six-to-ten pages with photos. Oh, and I love photos of the father of the bride's first glimpse of his daughter, and of children looking fascinated, bored, or full of joy.

*Do you prefer working with wedding publicists? For someone who doesn't have a publicist, do you recommend hiring one?
Wedding publicists can be a great resource for photographers -- they may have relationships in place within the industry that are invaluable, and taking the coordination aspects off of a photographer's hands can be extremely helpful. We certainly don't mind working with publicists that are courteous professionals, and welcome the relationships -- just make sure that the person you choose to represent you comes highly recommended, has a good track record, and is someone whose personality and level of professionalism will help rather than hinder your goals.

*Should the same wedding be submitted to multiple magazines for publication? Why or why not? What's happened when the same wedding wanted to get picked up by multiple magazines?
If you have your heart set on one particular magazine, it makes sense to submit to them first; however, increasing your chances of getting a wedding picked up by submitting it to multiple publications is completely fair. What you don't want to do is to confirm with one magazine and then change your mind, or tell more than one publication that they can run the same wedding. If your first choice hasn't gotten back to you and someone else wants it, you can check in for a status update before confirming with the second title.

*When submitting a wedding, who should the package be addressed to?
The Editor-in-Chief typically isn't the best person for submissions. Some publications will have a "Weddings Editor" or an editor of another designation that is clearly linked to real weddings, but when in doubt, it doesn't hurt to call and inquire.
To learn more about Inside Weddings, be sure to follow them on Twitter or become a Fan on Facebook!
Comment (84)
Share on

Thank you! Your comment has been saved.
KC - Thank you so much for posting such a useful post! I think my next wedding is going to be the first I submit for publishing, which I'm very excited about. The couple is very unique with their own sense of style. I'm bookmarking this post to come back to it when the time comes!   07.09.15 - 11:34am
Mark - Useful info, thank you.   03.19.15 - 1:50pm
Pabst Photo - Do you think it's more valuable to your brand to get published in ink or on a heavily trafficked website?  08.11.14 - 9:27am
Randall - Really helpful information, thanks for doing the foot work to get this sort of industry perspective  02.03.12 - 7:12am
DeLaun Fuller - Thank you so much for taking the time to find and share this information. Your generosity and photog community focus are inspirational! Thanks again.  10.24.10 - 12:09am
Karen Stott - Wow ...that was jam packed with useful tips. Thank you so much for taking the time to email her and for sharing it with us.  08.16.09 - 9:17pm
Emily Hoskins - Thanks so much for sharing Jasmine. I'm definitely going to try this out!  08.08.09 - 9:57pm
CReid - What a great and informative article. Thanks for sharing!!! Regards, Carl  08.03.09 - 7:06am
Paul - Thanks for the interview, Jasmine. NIce job asking relevant questions and eliciting the valuable information.  07.30.09 - 11:01pm
kimberly Semlor - It's great to have some of these questions answered by someone completely in the know! Great info and very helpful, thanks! We have some beautiful weddings and want to share them!   07.28.09 - 9:12am
Fabuluxe Photos - wow. I missed so much...wasn't able to read you blog for a couple of days... LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Thanks.   07.27.09 - 10:15pm
Wayne Bradt - Great info, thanks!  07.27.09 - 9:50pm
Jason Grubb - Thank you for the info!   07.27.09 - 6:38pm
Daniel - This is such good info. Thanks for posting it. It confirms a lot!  07.26.09 - 9:13pm
Connie Falmer - luv this post, it answer so many questions I had about wedding features :) thanks J* !  07.26.09 - 7:44pm
Seyeau Photography - Great info...I've never considered submitting to a magazine but after reading this I can't wait! :)  07.26.09 - 12:20am
James Wittwer - Great, great post...thanks so much!!!  07.25.09 - 10:40pm
maalaea - great post!  07.25.09 - 10:29pm
Magnus Bogucki - Great article! Thank you!  07.25.09 - 8:05am
Joanna Tano - Thank you so much for sharing this advice and for all your q & a posts - they're extremely helpful. You are very generous to share with all of us!  07.24.09 - 4:24pm
Betsy, La Vida - You rock! Thanks for sharing this info!  07.24.09 - 4:00pm
Amy - I do believe you have become my "morning paper" (even though sometimes it's afternoon or evening). Thanks for the tips! You're sweet to share this type of stuff with the Internet. :)  07.24.09 - 9:08am
Kevin Keith - Great advice Jasmine! Thanks so much for sharing that with everyone!  07.24.09 - 8:42am
imthiaz houseman - you are so fabulous...thanks for sharing great information!  07.24.09 - 7:35am
Karin - Aw snap Jasmine. You are a genius! Thanks for being so considerate to not only find out this information, but to share it with the rest of us! You are the  07.24.09 - 7:23am
Jessica Jacob Photography - Great post! Thank you Jasmine for gettting up the nerve to ask such brilliant questions. And thank you Marilyn for taking the time to answer them. You both ROCK!  07.24.09 - 6:17am
Emily Heizer Photography - "If you aren't a member, you can contact an Editor's Circle member that also participated in the wedding for the form that allows you to submit the images on their behalf." This sentence makes absolutely NO sense to me at all. A editor's member who also participated in the wedding? You mean, you have to know someone first and bring them to the wedding? LOL I am sure that is totally NOT at all what she is saying, but I am so, so, lost. Can anybody help me? Otherwise, very interesting. The Knot's guidelines are totally different, but this was great.   07.24.09 - 3:09am
Michelle - Hey, Jaz, great post, thanks a lot. I don't know it translates to the UK but I'm planning on sending a wedding out to the nationals soon. This is invaluable. Thank your for your bravery!  07.24.09 - 3:07am
Konfral - That's super-valuable information. Thanks J*, and thanks Marilyn!  07.24.09 - 2:39am
John B. - Great info, thanks for posting it.  07.24.09 - 1:12am
Juliann - Ahh, it's Marilyn! Didn't expect to see her face on your blog, haha. She is uber fab and beautiful. I also STILL read your blog. Ever since Nicole was considering you for her Engagement and Wedding photos :D  07.23.09 - 11:57pm
Nicole Glenn - Awesome! Your FAQ posts are da bomb. Yes, you heard right, da bomb.  07.23.09 - 10:27pm
Amanda - Awesome!!  07.23.09 - 10:00pm
ashley bugg - AHHH! I LOVE THIS POST! J* thank you SO much for taking that leap for us and hitting that send button! This is SO super helpful and I canNOT wait to take advantage of this information! Marilyn, thank you so so SO much for taking time to answer all these questions -- I've always wondered about the process but been so crazy overwhelmed by all of the unknown..  07.23.09 - 9:44pm
Jennifer Burns - You are such a giver J* Thank you!!  07.23.09 - 9:32pm
Jessica Shae - Cool post...very helpful info!  07.23.09 - 9:22pm
Amy Clifton - Thanks to both of you for the Q&A! Submitting a wedding is one of my goals for the year, but I haven't really known how to get started. This info is great and lights a fire under me! BTW, the Oliver Twist comment cracked me up. :-)  07.23.09 - 8:56pm
katelyn james - you're awesome for taking time to do this! both of you!  07.23.09 - 8:21pm
Quentina - Thanks soo much for this post. Great informative and encouring. I do have a question for you. I am an ameature photographer, just trying to get out there and right now I shoot with a Nikon D60, and I have a 18-55mm lense. I was looking to start purchasing new lenses, but than I thought about a new camera.. What do you think would be better, purchase new camera, or start my lense "collection first? P.S. Love your work, I am always on your blog checking up the new post!!   07.23.09 - 5:35pm
kristin brancaleone (the treasured petal) - what a fabulous post! so many great pointers that I never would have thought of. good thinkin!  07.23.09 - 5:18pm
Cynthia - Beside the wonderful photography, I read your blog because I like your insight and comic relief! I feel honored.  07.23.09 - 4:56pm
jamie delaine - Cool! She has some great tips! :)  07.23.09 - 4:56pm
Cathy Crawley - Thanks Jasmine, this is such a brilliant post and you are fabulous for doing this for your loyal blog readers!  07.23.09 - 4:52pm
Heather Kincaid - Really interesting Q&A! Thanks so much for thinking of this and for sharing it with all of us. :)  07.23.09 - 3:51pm
Nerinna - You're incredible! Thank you for sharing this. I've been wondering how people get published.  07.23.09 - 3:34pm
Nicole Palacios Silva - Love the post! Great idea, Jasmine. Of course, wonderful, informative answers from Marilyn and wow... that cover is gorgeous ;-) Yay for Inside Weddings! Feuza: Answer is Portuguese.  07.23.09 - 2:31pm
Jennifer - Thank you x a bajillion! That's brilliant info and it's so helpful.   07.23.09 - 2:26pm
Karen Snyder Photography - I am a Boston photographer who follows your blog and I want to thank you for this post. I have been wondering the answers to these questions and I am so glad you helped to provide them!  07.23.09 - 2:16pm
john p. - way cool thx  07.23.09 - 2:15pm
Amanda Herzberger - Jasmine - this is a really great post - thank you so much!  07.23.09 - 2:09pm
Jen Creed - What fantastic information! Thanks so much, Jasmine and Marilyn!  07.23.09 - 1:53pm
Alana - Thanks for doing this!!!  07.23.09 - 1:47pm
Stephanie Stewart - What a great FAQ post, love it!!! Thanks for the great info! :)  07.23.09 - 1:35pm
johncalvin - Thanks for the post. It's great to get insight. Completely off topic... Jasmine, have you considered doing an interview for a photography podcast like TWIP? I would love it if you did something like that. I would love to hear JD being interviewed too!  07.23.09 - 1:34pm
jen Avril-Rae Shannon - I totally just bought that magazine (the very one pictured above) right before my July 10th wedding looking for good pose and lighting ideas. LOVED it!  07.23.09 - 1:32pm
Robert - Thanks for this post Jasmine. I really like it.  07.23.09 - 1:27pm
Blair Van Bussel - So helpful! Thanks Jasmine!  07.23.09 - 12:38pm
StephLynnPhoto - This is so helpful. I was just researching online a few days ago about this and coudln't find anything that helps. You are awesome for doing this! Thanks so much!!  07.23.09 - 12:35pm
cassandra m - THANKS Marilyn!!!! and thanks J* of your most informative post yet. LOVE IT. I actually bought that magazine with your wedding published....still have it.  07.23.09 - 12:34pm
Carrie V. - Thanks for getting the nerve to send the email and sharing this great info!  07.23.09 - 12:32pm
Carolyn Egerszegi - Thanks for this valuable and informative post! I'm so glad I found you at the very beginning of my career as a photographer. You've done all the legwork for me so I can just concentrate on creating great images and capturing wonderful memories for my clients. Thanks!!  07.23.09 - 12:31pm
B - So if I write you a letter with fear and trembling and ask you to shoot my wedding, will you? What if I include that I'm your same blood type? What if I include that we shared a bed during thunder storms? What if I tell you I love you with a cherry on top?  07.23.09 - 12:20pm
Julie Lim - Wow, awesome post! Thanks Jasmine!  07.23.09 - 12:13pm
Chris c. - THANKS Jasmine! I was going to ask 'that' question next. I have inquired about their procedure before but never got an answer back. Thanks for your 'CONNECTION'!  07.23.09 - 12:08pm
erin harvey - Thanks so much to both of you for all the helpful info!  07.23.09 - 12:05pm
Dawn McCarthy - Incredibly useful information! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this J*!   07.23.09 - 11:51am
Jacqueline Fronters - As a photographer trying to get my name and business out there, this info is much needed. Thank you for helping others and thank you to Marilyn for offering great advice  07.23.09 - 11:43am
John Lyons - Thanks for sharing Jasmine and Oliviera!  07.23.09 - 11:41am
Kaysha - Kudos to Marilyn for taking the time to answer your questions! This was very helpful, thanks for the great post!!  07.23.09 - 11:33am
Lydia - Thanks so much for doing this, Jasmine! Very helpful!  07.23.09 - 11:30am
Kathryn Speyer - Thank you so much for this advice, Jasmine! I desperately wanted my photog to find a magazine to publish our wedding and we worked together really hard to make it happen... then, she dropped off the face of the planet. I haven't heard anything from her in months despite my attempts to check in. SIGH. On the other hand, I do know that it's unlikely that our wedding would be published no matter how unique, because I was a blogger for Wedding Bee. Oh well! Great FAQ. I just read all of them and I am extremely thankful for you writing them. I am in the same place now where you were a few years ago... hubby being my photo "pimp" and everything. You're an incredible inspiration!  07.23.09 - 11:28am
Alice Hu - Thanks for posting this Jasmine! I love Marilyn. She is one of the sweetest person I know.  07.23.09 - 11:23am
Shuva Rahim - This is really good info! Thank you for sharing this!  07.23.09 - 11:20am
aK-Shoots - Awesome! Thanks soo much for sharing this J*  07.23.09 - 11:20am
Feuza - Wow- I can not believe how detailed her answers were- Thanks Marilyn! and I wonder if she is Portuguese or Brazilian, with that last name, humm.. Great Great info, I think this post has answered all doubts about submitting to magazines, Thanks J* for sharing  07.23.09 - 11:16am
michelle cunningham - great post jas!   07.23.09 - 11:14am
Kim Kalyn - Super duper helpful !! Thanks Jasmine :)  07.23.09 - 11:12am
Melody @ Sweet & Saucy Shop - Such great info!!! Thanks so much!  07.23.09 - 11:11am
melissa - Very good information. Thanks Jasmine!  07.23.09 - 11:11am
Anna - Awesome! Highly informative FAQ. Thanks for taking the time to share this J*. You rock! Marilyn's insight on this really does make things clearer on submissions, especially the details bit ;)   07.23.09 - 11:06am
Larry Reeves - Thanks for posting this, Jasmine! This is so helpful to me and I'm sure thousands others!  07.23.09 - 11:04am
Sandra Regier - Thanks so much for sharing! That is fabulous info!  07.23.09 - 11:02am
Val McCormick - Åwesome information! Thanks so much!!!  07.23.09 - 11:01am
Christine (Artemis Clover Photo) - i love FAQs and this one is awesome! i am surprised that details shots are what they look for. i love people shots but i can see why now in terms of representing the event in its entirety.  07.23.09 - 11:00am